News & Press Releases

4 January 2023

Vertex and Pilkington UK sign major low carbon hydrogen supply agreement

Vertex Hydrogen has signed a ‘Heads of Terms’ offtake agreement for low carbon hydrogen with Merseyside glass manufacturer Pilkington UK.

St Helens’ Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, has led the flat glass sector in the switch towards low carbon fuels, completing two world-first trials of hydrogen being fired in a glass furnace.

The agreement sets Vertex up to supply Pilkington UK with hydrogen as the manufacturer continues to develop low-carbon ways of manufacturing glass.

The NSG Group recently announced an increased level of ambition to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through a re-certified Science Based Target. It follows Pilkington UK marking 70 years since Sir Alistair Pilkington invented the float glass process, a pivotal moment which transformed the glass industry.

Pilkington UK glass products provide a wide range of benefits, from thermally efficient Pilkington K Glass™ S and Pilkington Suncool™, which help control internal building temperatures and save energy, to bird-safe Pilkington AviSafe™ uniquely patterned UV enhanced coating to reduce bird collisions with windows.

Joe Seifert, CEO of Vertex Hydrogen said: “Pilkington has long been admired as an innovator in the glass industry and led a world first trial of flat glass from hydrogen in 2021 at its famous St Helens facility. The offtake agreement is another iconic name in the north west manufacturing region switching to Vertex’s low carbon hydrogen.”

Neil Syder, Managing Director of Pilkington United Kingdom Limited said: “We are fully committed to our NSG Group target of achieving net-zero by 2050. Firing the float glass furnace using hydrogen instead of natural gas is a key part of our strategy to reduce carbon emissions. Decarbonising the glass making process represents a significant challenge so it’s critical that we partner with academics and industry groups, particularly here in the North West.

Vertex is proud to be helping the UK lead the development of low carbon hydrogen production as an integral part of HyNet – the UK’s leading industrial decarbonisation cluster. It will help to solve our urgent need to drastically reduce carbon emissions in our manufacturing sector – securing and growing vital industry.

Vertex is:

  • Delivering an initial 1,000 megawatts of low carbon hydrogen capacity – enough to provide the fuel consumed by a city the size of Liverpool;
  • Capturing 1.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year at full capacity – equivalent to taking 750,000 cars off the roads;
  • Investing around £1 billion in the North West of the UK and facilitating the investment of a further £1 billion or more of associated infrastructure;
  • Playing a leading role in kickstarting the UK low carbon, large scale hydrogen market.